There’s a famous saying in Igboland, “Onye wetere oji, wetere udo,” which translates to “He who brings kola, brings peace.” The Kola Nut goes beyond sustenance; it's a divine symbol of peace and prayer.
Highly regarded in Igbo spirituality, kola nuts are typically prayed over before rituals and ceremonies, and there’s a deep belief that they’re a favorite of God and the ancestors.
They are a sacred symbol of communion between the living, the divine, and the deceased. While some diasporic religions use cowrie shells during divination rituals by breaking them into lobes and casting them onto the ground to be interpreted by the reader, the Igbo traditionally used kola.
Like many Black cultures, Igbo people didn't separate the sacred and "the secular"; everything was a part of one spiritual ecosystem, so because the nuts are considered divine, they’re used interchangeably as offerings for both the Most High and the dearly departed.
The sacredness of the Kola Nut reminds us that our indigenous ways are worthy of celebration and continuation. We've always thrived in the presence of God, nature, and ancestors.
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